In our monthly feature, the Public Health Law News Roundup, we pick the month’s top public health law and policy stories as determined by our attorneys, our partners, and our social media communities, and summarize them for readers.
A number of major regulatory announcements from federal agencies grabbed headlines in May ― including the FDA’s deeming regulation on tobacco products, the USDA’s new nutrition label, and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s rules on employee wellness programs. Soda warning labels and marijuana laws were also in the news:
On May 5, the FDA announced that it would extend its authority granted under the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act to regulate e-cigarettes, cigars and pipe tobacco by prohibiting the sale of these products to those under the age of 18. The agency also said it will require companies to submit these products for regulatory review and place health warnings on product packages and in advertisements.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced on May 20 that it finalized a new and improved Nutrition Facts label for food products. The new label will highlight calories and number of servings, better reflect serving sizes that people actually eat, and include information on added sugars, as well as other important changes to better inform consumers. The new labels will be required to be used by July 26, 2018.
New EEOC Rules for Wellness Programs: 30 Percent Incentive = Voluntary – National Law Review
On May 16, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) issued two final rules that provide guidance to employers on how they may offer voluntary wellness programs to employees that are compliant with the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and also consistent with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
A federal judge in May upheld San Francisco’s law that will require soda manufacturers to include warnings on certain advertisements about the dangers of consuming sugar-sweetened beverages. U.S. District Judge Edward Chen wrote in his order “The warning required by the city ordinance is factual and accurate, and the city had a reasonable basis for requiring the warning given its interest in public health and safety."
How Much Is Too Much Marijuana to Drive? Lawmakers Wonder – New York Times
A simple breathalyzer test can be used to determine whether a driver is too drunk to drive, but measuring the effects of marijuana isn’t as straightforward, according to a new study. As more states consider marijuana legalization, lawmakers will be faced by this and other challenges when creating laws to address driving while under the influence of marijuana.
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